Read this for the amazing scientific information about faster-than-light neutrinos, what it does and doesn’t mean for FTL travel, and mostly, because this astronomer uses the phrase: “HOLY KESSEL RUN!”
by Phil Plait
“So the web is buzzing right now over news that scientists have detected some subatomic particles moving faster than the speed of light.
Yeah, well, not so fast. Let’s think about this for a sec.
First, what happened is that they create these particles, called neutrinos, at CERN in Geneva. Neutrinos don’t interact with normal matter well, so they can pass right through the Earth as if it isn’t there. In a fraction of a second, some of them enter a detector called OPERA in Italy where they are recorded (pictured here). If you divide the distance between those two points by the time it takes for the neutrinos to travel, you get their speed.
And when the scientists did that, they find the neutrinos get to Italy about 60 nanoseconds faster than a photon would.
Photons travel at the speed of light — they are light! — so this means the neutrinos, if this is all true, traveled faster than light speed. Holy Kessel Run!
But is it true?
Now first off, if it were this would overturn so much physics that they may as well have discovered that gravity pushes, not pulls. So right away we need to treat this claim with lots and lots of skepticism. I’ll note these are actual particle physicists making this claim, and not some crackpots who will shake their fists at the sky and say how Galileo was laughed at too.”